A power outage affecting the light banks on the third-base side of Nationals Park delayed Friday’s game between the Dodgers and Nationals. The game was ultimately suspended until 11 a.m. PT Saturday (Associated Press photo)
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today was a weird day at the ballpark. From the time of the first pitch, just after 7 p.m. ET, less time was spent playing baseball than was spent waiting for the lights to come back on at Nationals Park.
After the game, both teams were granted permission to add a 26th player to their roster Saturday. I mentioned that in my game story, but failed to mention that the 26th player can only be used in the second game — the game that was originally scheduled for 1 p.m. PT. Please make a note of it.
Also Friday, the Dodgers signed top draft pick Walker Buehler, but not their next pick, Kyle Funkhouser.
Louisville pitcher Kyle Funkhouser is the only one of the Dodgers’ first 10 picks in the June draft who didn’t sign. (Associated Press photo)
The Dodgers signed the first player they chose in the June draft, Vanderbilt pitcher Walker Buehler, but not the second, Louisville pitcher Kyle Funkhouser.
Buehler, the 24th overall pick, received a $1.78 million signing bonus — $314,000 below the maximum. Why the steep discount?
According to multiple reports, Buehler has a torn ligament in his right elbow that will require Tommy John surgery. The procedure typically knocks pitchers out of action for 12 months or more.
Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi didn’t comment on the reports.
Game 2 of the best-of-three College World Series finale between Vanderbilt and Virgina begins at 5 p.m. PT tonight in Omaha, Nebraska. The game will be televised on ESPN.
One good reason to tune in: Left-hander Philip Pfeifer, whom the Dodgers drafted in the third round (101st overall) of the amateur draft earlier this month, is on the hill for Vanderbilt. The Commodores are one win away from the national title.
The if-necessary Game 3 would be Wednesday night on ESPN; the Dodgers and Cubs are scheduled to be on ESPN2.
Another good reason to watch: Pfeifer has already earned his undergraduate philosophy degree from Vanderbilt after overcoming substance abuse.
Walker Buehler, the Vanderbilt pitcher whom the Dodgers chose with their first-round pick in the amateur draft this month, pitched Vanderbilt into the College World Series final by beating TCU on Friday.
Buehler allowed four hits and a run and struck out eight in 6 ⅔ innings. It was his first game action since June 1.
Vanderbilt will play the winner of Saturday’s game between Virginia and Florida for the NCAA championship. The Virginia club features pitcher Josh Sborz, whom the Dodgers drafted 74th overall in the compensation round of the draft.
The Dodgers’ pitcher-heavy draft (non-)strategy is about to be put into action.
The advanced Rookie-level Ogden Raptors begin play tonight. Their roster includes 12 players recently chosen in the June draft: infielder Willie Calhoun (4th round), pitcher Tommy Bergjans (8th), pitcher Kevin Brown (9th), outfielder Logan Landon (10th), catcher Matt Beaty (12th), catcher Jake Hensen (21st), pitcher Andrew Istler (23rd), pitcher Cameron Palmer (24th), pitcher Rob McDonnell (25th), pitcher Marcus Crescentini (26th), pitcher Ivan Vieitez (27th) and shortstop Nick Dean (32nd).
Also on the Raptors’ roster: pitcher Wesley Helsabeck, whom the Dodgers signed as an undrafted free agent.
Of note: Beaty was listed as a catcher when he was drafted, but is listed as an infielder on the Raptors’ roster.
Several more 2015 draftees will begin play with the Rookie-level AZL Dodgers, whose season begins Saturday.
The Dodgers used 25 of their 42 picks on pitchers. Amateur scouting director Billy Gasparino said he was “shocked” the way it turned out, because “we tried to target hitters this year. We went and scouted them a lot, both on the high school and college end.”